ROCK isn’t Windows. And you will find precious little difference between PC and MAC hardware these days. If you want a MAC because you want the option to do other things then that is absolutely fine but if for Roon only then it is quite hard to argue with a ROCK based system.
But without all of the additional stuff that makes it ‘nice’ but also makes it somewhat ponderous by comparison. And to be clear, I am not a MAC hater. I just love the fact that ROCK runs Roon and is otherwise totally invisible. Simple plug in and play in its purest form.
It will do just fine for a medium sized library (<50.000 songs) if you put the Roon database on an external SSD. Unless you want to upsample\do DSP to perhaps many endpoints.
So, basically i’m all for a NUC/ROCK too
Yup. And you can use your Apple keyboard and mouse for that.
The beauty of ROCK on a NUC is that it is a very minimal, highly optimized Linux distribution, carefully finetuned for one purpose only: running Roon Server. Installation aside, it runs like an appliance: all updates come via your Roon Remote of choice – you’ll never need to touch the NUC again.
That said – if you’re set on a Mac, even the 1.4Ghz mini will perform just fine if unless you indulge in heavy DSD upsampling. Depending on the size of your library, you really want an SSD in it to run the database on (for a few thousand tracks a spinning hard drive will be fine, but for anything over that an SSD is really recommended).
Wasn’t the ancestral Linux Torvalds’ fork of UNIX? So macOS and any LINUX fork are, what, cousins?
No matter. It isn’t, unlike many people assume, an invention of Apple and, more to the OP’s allergies, Linux and macOS (and ROCK) are more alike than not.
More ironic, both Mini and NUC use Intel cpus and assorted support chips, so under the skin where is matters, they are both running the same micro code and the C++ programs one writes for them end with the same assembler code as a base.
But that’s not what the OP meant. He meant he doesn’t like the Windows GUI.
Apologies to the OP, I’m thru hijacking this post.
If you have a low-end machine lying around, try it. If you are buying something: get it future proof (not crazy future proof). An inbetween step for an eventual new MacMini is probably a waste of money.
I succesfully ran RoonServer on a 1.8GHz C2D MacMini (2006?) but the 2011 (i5, 8GB, SSD) is more responsive and can handle the DSP. I think any current MacMini would be OK if you need it for other work too, and the NUC as mentioned makes a nice dedicated machine. The Mini looks really nice though
High power depends on your needs: do you want to do upsampling to DSDXXX, crazy room correction and multi-room?
I’m running Roon Core on a 1.3, circa 2006, with no problems. I upgraded memory to 8GB but didn’t upgrade the hard drive yet.
My library is something like 30k tracks, all on an attached drive. I’m not doing any DSP or multiple end points. Two things prompted me to go with the model I went with: it has an optical drive so i can rip CDs. This was a consideration as I’m quite lazy and had a couple hundred CD’s at least that I’d never got around to ripping, and I find having an external drive hanging off my laptop, and moving files around on the network tedious. The second thing: I read a thread over on head-fi in which Mike Moffat (Schiit audio’s co-owner/designer) shared his set up. He felt that generation of Mini sounded better than latter versions.
I did all this before ROCK was available. If you end up going this route and are going to mess around with memory or an upgraded drive do it all at once- Mini’s are a total pain to work on.